10 Reasons to Visit Panama City in Panama

With a stable economy, tropical climate, breathtaking landscapes and a vibrant and diverse culture, Panama City in Panama should be at the top of everyone's travel list.

Share article:

Panama is a country with an eclectic culture and fascinating history that manifests in its architecture, cuisine, entertainment, landmarks, and local population. The country typically receives around 2.5 million visitors, and its capital is one of the most visited cities in Latin America.

Many also choose to relocate to Panama due to its international population, tropical climate and low cost of living.

You’ll find many of the country’s tourists and expats in the capital, which is home to beautifully historic districts like Casco Viejo, and man-made wonders like the Panama Canal.

We look at the top 10 reasons to visit Panama City in Panama.

Panama City in panama

Enjoy a tropical climate

Situated just north of the equator, Panama offers warm and tropical temperatures with highs of 30 degrees Celsius all year round. This entices tourists, expats, and retirees in considerable numbers—in spite of the long rainy season that persists from May through to December.

The best time for tourists to visit Panama City is in the “dry season”, from the very start of the year to late April. During these months, you can make the most of what Panama City has to offer, including its various outdoor activities.

Extraordinary natural landscapes

Panama is abundant in natural beauty, and in Panama City, you won’t be far away from the most beautiful views the country has to offer. Rainforests, beaches, national parks and even deserts are all on your doorstep, making for some unique and truly memorable experiences.

Scuba dive in the azure waters of Panama’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts; soak up some tropical sun on its sandy beaches; spot rare species of wildlife in the Natural Metropolitan Park and journey a couple of hours out of the city to behold vast desert landscapes.

Discover one of the “7 man-made wonders”

The Panama Canal is nothing short of a man-made wonder and a magnificent feat of human ingenuity. The American Society of Civil Engineers has named it as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World and a Monument of the Millennium”.

This strategic hub acts as the gateway between two oceans and plays a crucial role in international maritime trade. Because of this, it has long been a symbol of power and economic prowess on the global stage.

Panama City in Panama 2

Connectivity in Panama City

Panama is extremely accessible from the US, and its airports serve as a regional hub to North, South and Central America, and to the Caribbean Islands.

Tocumen International Airport is around 17km northeast of Panama City and stands as Central America’s busiest airport. Visitors from America’s prime cities can reach Panama in less than five hours, while Miami is just a 2.5-hour flight away. International flights also operate from Tocumen to airports in Europe and Asia.

A stable and growing economy 

After years of ups and downs, Panama is now home to one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America. After being hit hard by the pandemic, the country bounced back strongly in 2021, with a recovery largely driven by copper exports and Panama Canal activity.

Growing tourist numbers will also help to fuel GDP growth in the coming years, and FocusEconomics Consensus predicts a growth of 5% in 2023.

Low cost of living

Due to Panama’s past economic troubles, the country remains very affordable compared to other nations. Expats find that their money goes a lot further in Panama, permitting a higher quality of life. In the capital, you can ride the metro for under a dollar, dine out for around $10 and enjoy a beer for just $2. As the cost of living rises around the world, this is becoming an increasingly important factor in the decision of both tourists and expats.

Additionally, the Panamanian Balboa is about equivalent to the US dollar, which is very convenient for US citizens wanting to holiday in, or relocate to, Panama.

Vibrant central American culture

After centuries of movement across Panama, the country has become a melting pot of nationalities and cultures. Today, it is a mix of North, Central, and South American as well as colonial influences.

The seven indigenous peoples of Panama include the Ngäbe, Buglé, Guna, Emberá, Wounaan, Bri bri, and the Naso Tjërdi. These tribes were some of the first to occupy the region and, today, make up 12% of the population.

Panama’s colonisation by Spain in the 16th century has also had a profound impact on the country’s cultural identity. Many of its people are of Spanish descent, and Spanish culture can be seen in food, dance and various other aspects of life.

A rich and global history

Panama’s eclectic culture comes hand-in-hand with a rich and compelling history. It the first Spanish colony on the Pacific, and it has also long functioned as one of the world’s most significant transportation hubs. The Panama Canal had been a site of contestation for decades before control was finally passed from the US to Panama at the close of the 20th century.

Casco Viejo is the historic district of Panama City overlooking the entrance to the Panama Canal. Also known as the “Old Quarter”, it dates back to 1673 and is considered a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. Forbes Magazine called Casco Viejo one of the “12 Coolest Neighbourhoods Around the World”, where visitors can wander through picturesque streets and marvel at colourful colonial buildings.

Gastronomy in Panama

Panama’s cuisine is made up of African, Spanish, and Native American influences. The country is home to a number of traditional dishes; seafood lovers simply must try the Ceviche. You’re likely to come across the widely-used shrub, Yuca, in the form of fries, or as the famous carimañola. For an unforgettable dining experience head to Casco Viejo, where world-renowned chefs create some of the best dishes in the city.

Friendly population

In Panama, you can expect to be welcomed by the local population. The country’s multicultural society is naturally very receptive to international visitors. As the capital of Panama, Panama City in particular is home to a real diversity of people and nationalities.

Spanish is the official native language of Panama. English is also widely spoken, with around 14% of the population fluent in the language. This makes it relatively easy to engage with the locals and is another reason why Panama is so popular with expats from America and Europe.

Click to tweet:

Panama is home to an eclectic culture that manifests in its architecture, entertainment and cuisine. Discover 10 reasons why #PanamaCity should be at the top of your travel list. Article by @benoitproperty

Love Panama? Discover more in our destination guide,
and contact us today to secure your dream property.